JULY 9, 2010: 5TH anniversary of the launch of the
Palestinian civil society campaign for
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel
Friday, July 9, 2010 marks five years since 170 Palestinian civil society organizations launched the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Inspired by struggles uniting people of conscience worldwide, in particular the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa, the BDS campaign is civil society”s nonviolent response to the Israeli occupation, taking action where states have failed in their obligations to enforce international law.
In Rome, groups that make up the Palestinian Solidarity Network are organizing various initiatives to raise public awareness on the importance of the BDS campaign as well as Italian economic and political complicity with Israel”s colonial system.
The National Federation of the Left will hold a protest on Friday at 5pm at the headquarters of the Lazio Region condemning the long-standing economic and research cooperation between the region and Israel. In particular, Forum Palestina is calling for a mobilization against the regional plan for the purchase of waste processing technology from the Israeli company Arrow Bio. A presentation of Arrow Bio technology in Tuscany was blocked last year thanks to activist mobilizations.
The groups Free Palestine and Stop Agrexco Rome are instead planning consumer boycott actions on Friday in supermarkets in the city, calling on customers not to purchase Israeli products, and, in particular, denouncing the sales of products from Israeli settlements built illegally in the occupied territories and the economic interests that support the occupation.
The initiatives planned in Rome are but a sampling of the growing BDS movement in Italy. ISM-Italy just launched a campaign for the boycott of Teva, the Israeli pharmaceutical company. The Padua BDS Group organizied an action at H&M, the multinational clothing retailer with substantial economic investments in Israel. Stop Agrexco Italy continues the national campaign against Agrexco, the leading Israeli exporter of agricultural products, which exports 70% of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs produced in the settlements. Additional 5th anniversary BDS events and initiatives are planned in Milan (at Teva Pharmaceuticals), Naples (Piazza San Domenico), Turin (Piazza Castello), Aprilia (former Slaughterhouse), Bologna (COOP supermarket), Viareggio, Novara and other cities.
Rome Palestinian Solidarity Network